Ask the Author: Arianne Costner

What would you like readers to know about you? 

Hi! My name is Arianne. I am a former 7th grade English teacher who now stays home with my three small children. My debut, MY LIFE AS A POTATO came out in March of this year, and my next book, CONFESSIONS OF A CLASS CLOWN comes out in March of next year! I love writing uplifting, humorous stories that revolve around themes of friendship and kindness.  

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

MY LIFE AS A POTATO is about a boy named Ben who moves to a new school in Idaho. Ben hopes to makeover his image to be more of a “cool kid.” One day in the cafeteria, he accidentally injures the school mascot, Steve the Spud. The basketball coach makes a deal with him: in order to avoid detention, Ben will fill in for the Spud for the last few games of the season. How embarrassing! Ben wants NO ONE to find out. He’s a bit clumsy, and not the best dancer, and… I mean… he’ll be dressed like a potato. Ben goes to great (and hilarious) lengths trying to hide his secret from his crush, his friends, and the whole school, while simultaneously working on improving his mascot game. He finds some unexpected friendships along the way, and learns that the secret to being cool is being cool with being yourself.

CONFESSIONS OF A CLASS CLOWN is about Jack, the resident class clown, who loves making goofy videos on his social media accounts. He starts trends at school and is well-liked, but no one would guess that Jack is very self-conscious about the fact that he doesn’t have a “best” friend. In fact, most of his friends don’t stick around for long, and he can’t figure out why.  

Jack really needs someone to help film videos for his ever-growing social media account, so he swallows his pride and joins the new afterschool speed-friendshipping club. There, he meets, among others, Tasha, Brielle, and Mario, who each have their own motivations for joining the club, and their own hidden problems too. Alternating perspective chapters from each of the four characters show how their lives intertwine as they learn about false first impressions, human connection, and social media pressure.  

What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

I’ll stick to talking about CONFESSIONS OF A CLASS CLOWN. I have a thirteen-year-old sister, and we’ve talked about the impact social media has on her and her friends. It can be a fun tool, but it can quickly become overwhelming and lead to feelings of loneliness and comparison. I wanted to write something that addressed this, but in a way that balanced the message with humor and fun.  

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

It was a blast to write the scenes where Jack makes goofy videos for his social media account. He’s such a creative kid.  

What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

Gordon Korman was probably my biggest inspiration for CONFESSIONS OF A CLASS CLOWN. I read RESTART and was blown away. There was such a sweet and important message about kindness wrapped up in a fun story that made me snort-laugh throughout. I especially loved seeing the chapters from multiple perspectives. They help the reader get used to seeing things from others’ point of view, and give the story a whole new dimension. I knew I had to try writing in multiple perspectives myself! 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Just have fun with it! Take creative risks, and delve into your character’s motivations. Read up on craft, but don’t let the pressure of being published inhibit you from just enjoying the process of creating.  

Under the “Editorial Reviews” section, you can find an excerpt from the first chapter of each book! 



My website is – I have some fun content to go along with MY LIFE AS A POTATO, as well as book club questions, teacher guides, etc. 

Find me on twitter @ariannecostner  

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